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SCLS Live Steam Railroading Glossary

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Beginning With: "W"
WABASH To hit cars going into adjacent tracks. (See cornered) Also refers to the officially frowned-upon practice of slowing up for a stop signal at a crossing with another railroad instead of stopping. The engineer would look up and down to make sure everything is safe, then start up again, having saved several minutes by not stopping entirely. Wabash may also mean a heavy fire in the locomotive firebox
WAGON Railroad car. (English term)
WALK THE DOG Wheel a freight so fast as to make cars sway from side to side
WALK UP AGAINST THE GUN Ascend a steep grade with the injector on
WALL STREET NOTCH Forward corner of reverse lever quadrant in engine cab (more commonly called company notch). Called Wall Street notch because engine pays dividends when heaviness of train requires engine to be worked that way
WASHOUT Stop signal, waved violently by using both arms and swinging them in downward arc by day, or swinging lamp in wide low semicircle across tracks at night
WATCH YOUR PINS Be careful around stacks of ties, rails, etc.
WAY CAR Caboose, or car of local freight
WEARING THE BLUE Delayed by car inspectors. A blue flag or blue light is placed on cars thus delayed and being worked on
WEARING THE GREEN Carrying green signals. When trains run in more than one section, all except the last must display two green flags
WEED BENDER Railroaders' derisive term for cowboy, other such terms being hay shaker, clover picker, and plow jockey. Commonest term for cowboy is cowpuncher, which is of railroad origin. Cowboys riding stock trains prod the cattle
WEED WEASEL Company Official Spying on Crews
WESTINGHOUSE Air brake, also called windjammer
WET MULE IN THE FIREBOX Bad job of firing a locomotive
WHALE BELLY Steel car, or type of coal car with drop bottom. Also called sow belly
WHEEL 'EM Let a train run without braking. Wheeling means carrying or hauling at good speed; also called highballing. You say wheeling the berries when you mean hauling the berry crop at high speed
WHEEL MONKEY Car inspector
WHEN DO YOU SHINE? What time were you called for?
WHISKERS Quite a bit of seniority
WHISTLE OUT A FLAG Engineer blows one long and three short blasts for the brakeman to protect rear of train
WHITE FEATHER Plume of steam over safety valves, indicating high boiler pressure
WHITE RIBBONS White flags (an extra train)
WIDEN ON HER Open the throttle, increase speed
WIGWAG A grade-crossing signal
WILLIE Waybill for loaded car
WIND Air brakes
WING HER Set brakes on moving train
WISE GUY Station agent
WOLF or LONE WOLF Nonbrotherhood man
WORK WATER Some old-time engineers preferred to work the water (operate the injector and watch the water glass or gauge cocks). On most roads the fireman now works the water
WORKING A CAR Unloading a storage mail car
WORKING MAIL Mail in sacks and pouches consigned to R.P.O. (Railway Post Office) cars to be "worked" or sorted in transit
WRECKING CREW Relief crew. Derogatory term derived from the difficulty regular men sometimes experience in rearranging a car after it has been used by relief men
WRONG IRON Main track on which the current of traffic is in the opposite direction
WYE Tracks running off the main line or lead, forming a letter Y; used for turning cars and engines where no urntable is available
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